Nearly 80% of the 11 million single-parent families are headed by mothers, a statistic that underscores how disproportionately the responsibility of child-rearing falls on women. But the U.S. also has about two million single fathers, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For both, single parenthood in America comes with significant challenges, especially when it comes to access to affordable child-care services necessary to allow parents access to more working hours and higher incomes. (These are the cities with the cheapest child care.)
Work-life balance in America, measured in part by the availability of paid family and sick leave, is also hugely lacking in the country. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that mandates no paid sick or parental leave.
Considering America’s failures in broadly providing these kinds of services and benefits, some U.S. cities do relatively better than others when it comes to parental support. For a variety of reasons, these are the best and worst states to raise a family.
To identify the 30 best cities for single dads in the U.S. in 2022, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking created by LawnStarter, a lawn-care start-up that conducts research into city and state amenities. The site used data from some 20 government and non-government sources to rank the 200 largest U.S. cities across 36 differently weighted metrics in six main categories: affordability, child care, health and education, home and outdoors, work-life balance, and community support. (Our edited data omits scores for health and education and home and outdoors, but they are included in computations of the final score.)
The top 30 best cities for single fathers overall are Naperville, Illinois; Overland Park, Kansas; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Not one of the 30, however, scores among the top 30 in every individual metrics. Napierville makes it for affordability and community support; Overland Park scores highly only for affordability; Sioux Falls places well only for affordability and child care.
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